Rosianne Cutajar has resigned as Parliamentary Secretary for Reforms pending an investigation.
She announced her resignation on social media, denying all claims. She said she is doing so out of respect for the Labour Party.
According to revelations from the Times of Malta, Cutajar pocketed over €46,500 for her role in a Mdina property deal involving Fenech. A further €9,000 was handed to her directly from Fenech.
At the time, Fenech had not yet been charged in connection to the assassination but had already been outed as the owner of 17 Black, the Dubai-based company linked to alleged government corruption.
Her statement reads as follows:
“Over the last weeks, I have been subject to several unjust attacks, political spin, and malicious comments.”
“I am not going to get into merit as to how someone has access to private conversations, because this is a criminal act according to the courts.:
“I am only going to comment as to how, in a selective manner, messages without consent are being published, that is going back to 2019 when I didn’t have an executive role. This is so they destroy my reputation, the government, and the Labour Party.”
“I have already said it publicly: but I never had any business with Yorgen Fenech. Even though I knew you, the moment he was known as the murder suspect in Daphne Caruana Galizia, I stopped all contact.”
“I will be clear: for all the years I knew Yorgen Fenech, I never used my political position to influence a process or decision. I have never been asked to do this, and even I was asked to, I would never breach your trust in me. In my political career, I have always acted honestly and correctly.”
“I will stop here. The rest, I will explain at the opportune time in front of the Commissioner for Standards in Public Life.”
“In the meantime, after much reflection, I decided to offer my resignation as Parliamentary Secretary pending the outcome of the process. In the future, I will defend my name in the most convincing and honest way.”
“I am doing this out of respect to the Labour Party and Government which I have been loyal to, so they can work in serenity. At a time when it is clear that this is a country where justice and the rule of law reign, I will not allow anyone who uses me to try to attack the government and destroy the wealth we are bringing to the country.”
“I will not allow any false and malicious allegations to obscure the reform that we have been working on for so long and that we will carry out for the good of all Maltese and Gozitans.”
“I thank you for your support.”
The deal relates to Fenech’s attempts to purchase a Mdina home for €3.1 million in May 2019. When Fenech was arrested in November 2019 for the assassination, the deal fell through. However, the pair had already been paid for their role in the deal.
One month after pocketing the fees, Cutajar was within the halls of the CoE fighting tooth and nail to ensure the government’s amendments and vociferous complaints against the damning report are heard. PN MP David Thake has suggested that the fee was related to Cutajar’s backing within the PACE.
Notably, the report noted that Yorgen Fenech, as the Electrogas director, owned the Dubai company 17 Black, which was found to have received large sums of money from an Azeri national.
The government’s amendments included calls for a public inquiry into the case; requests for far-reaching constitutional changes; and complaints that the CoE report was too far-ranging in scope.
Government’s amendments, which were backed by Cutajar and the other sitting PACE members, were shot down. The report passed with 72 votes in favour, 18 against, and three abstentions.
Malta’s government, and its representatives in the PACE, found support from Azerbaijan, the country with a stake in Fenech’s Electrogas project that has long been linked with alleged corruption in Malta.
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